Bill Evans (pianist)

~ Person


William John "Bill" Evans (pronunciation: /ˈɛvəns/, August 16, 1929 – September 15, 1980) was an American jazz pianist and composer who mostly worked in a trio setting. Evans' use of impressionist harmony, inventive interpretation of traditional jazz repertoire, block chords, and trademark rhythmically independent, "singing" melodic lines continue to influence jazz pianists today.

Born in Plainfield, New Jersey, he was classically trained, and studied at Southeastern Louisiana University. In 1955, he moved to New York, where he worked with bandleader and theorist George Russell. In 1958, Evans joined Miles Davis's sextet, where he was to have a profound influence. In 1959, the band, then immersed in modal jazz, recorded Kind of Blue, the best-selling jazz album of all time.

In late 1959, Evans left the Miles Davis band and began his career as a leader with Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian, a group now regarded as a seminal modern jazz trio. In 1961, ten days after recording the highly acclaimed Sunday at the Village Vanguard and Waltz for Debby, LaFaro died in a car accident. After months of seclusion, Evans re-emerged with a new trio, featuring bassist Chuck Israels.

In 1963, Evans recorded Conversations with Myself, an innovative solo album using the unconventional (in jazz solo recordings) technique of overdubbing over himself. In 1966, he met bassist Eddie Gómez, with whom he would work for eleven years. Several successful albums followed, such as Bill Evans at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Alone and The Bill Evans Album, among others.

Many of his compositions, such as "Waltz for Debby", have become standards and have been played and recorded by many artists. Evans was honored with 31 Grammy nominations and seven awards, and was inducted in the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1956 New Jazz Conceptions Bill Evans 7
1957 A Day in New York Tony Scott & Bill Evans 2
1959 Everybody Digs Bill Evans Bill Evans 8
1959 Play the Arrangements of Jimmy Giuffre Bill Evans & Lee Konitz 4 1
1962 Empathy Bill Evans 2
1962 Interplay Bill Evans with Freddie Hubbard, Percy Heath, Jim Hall & Philly Joe Jones 13
1962 Undercurrent Bill Evans & Jim Hall 5 7
1963 Conversations With Myself Bill Evans 3
1964 Waltz for Debby Monica Zetterlund & Bill Evans 5
1964 Trio 64 Bill Evans 4 3
1966 A Simple Matter of Conviction Bill Evans 3
1966 Intermodulation Bill Evans & Jim Hall 4 2
1967 Further Conversations With Myself Bill Evans 2
1969 You're Gonna Hear From Me Bill Evans 3
1969 Alone Bill Evans 6
1971 The Bill Evans Album Bill Evans 3
1973 My Foolish Heart Bill Evans 1
1973 Stan Getz & Bill Evans Stan Getz & Bill Evans 3
1974 Symbiosis Bill Evans 2
1975 Alone (Again) Bill Evans 4
1975 Intuition Bill Evans & Eddie Gomez 3
1975 The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album Tony Bennett and Bill Evans 8
1977 Together Again Tony Bennett and Bill Evans 2
1978 Affinity Bill Evans & Toots Thielemans 2
1979 We Will Meet Again Bill Evans 4 2
1985 Bill Evans With Symphony Orchestra Bill Evans 1
1988 You Must Believe in Spring Bill Evans 5 3
1992 Quintessence Bill Evans, Harold Land, Kenny Burrell, Ray Brown & Philly Joe Jones 4
1993 Serenity Bill Evans 2
1994 Eloquence Bill Evans 1
1994 The Ivory Hunters Bob Brookmeyer & Bill Evans 2
1995 Loose Blues Bill Evans, Zoot Sims, Jim Hall, Ron Carter & Philly Joe Jones 2
1997 New Conversations Bill Evans 2
1997 On Green Dolphin Street Bill Evans 4
1997 Conversations with Bill Evans Bill Evans; Jean-Yves Thibaudet 1
1998 Autumn Leaves Bill Evans 1
1998 From Left to Right Bill Evans 2
2001 Tenderly: An Informal Session Bill Evans · Don Elliott 1
2002 Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz Marian McPartland with guest Bill Evans 1
2003 What's New Bill Evans with Jeremy Steig 1
2003 Portraiture Bill Evans 1
2004 The Gary McFarland Orchestra The Gary McFarland Orchestra, Special Guest Soloist: Bill Evans 1
2006 Easy to Love Bill Evans 1
2006 Unknown Session Bill Evans 1
2007 The Interplay Sessions Bill Evans with Freddie Hubbard & Zoot Sims 1
2007 Live in Stockholm, 1965 Bill Evans Trio 1
2009 New Jazz Conceptions Bill Evans 1
2010 The Complete Legendary Sessions Chet Baker & Bill Evans 1
2012 Empathy / A Simple Matter of Conviction Bill Evans 1
2014 The Legendary Quartet/Quintet Sessions Cannonball Adderley & Bill Evans 1

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